Friday, January 30, 2009

The Other Side of the Mountain

Another novel that haunts me from my past is The Other Side of the Mountain by Michael Bernanos. This one, too, was discovered while shelving books as a high school student. Again, the cover art drew my attention. I actually used this book as the subject of a slide show for an English class project. I created some terra cotta sculptures to illustrate the story, and photographed them outside at the Ipswich River Audubon Sanctuary amongst the roots of trees, partially covered with soil as though the figures were emerging from (or perhaps being swallowed by) the earth itself.

I still have one of the sculptures but my copy of the book is long gone. Many years ago I lent it to a friend who never returned it. Amazon has some interesting reviews of the book which was translated from the French. One reviewer claims that a better translation of the title would be "The Dead Mountain of Life."

Three novels (Marcel Bealu's Experience of the Night; Ruthven Todd's The Lost Traveller; Edgar Allen Poe's Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym) are suggested here as possible inspiration for Bernanos' work "that mixes elements of Lovecraftian horror, otherworldly sci fi and hallucinatory adventure. . . there's also a distinctly spiritual dimension."

1 comment:

bulletholes said...

Love that cover. Red people, blue moon. Very cool.